As I think I mentioned a few posts back, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with halloween. I’ve never been into the really scary side of it, but I love all the foodie and crafty opportunities. I also love traditions and making memories with the kids. The last couple of years I’ve taken the kids to a pumpkin patch to pick their own pumpkins and this year I did it again.  Sadly Jess has a broken foot at the moment, so she stayed behind, but Lila and I managed to choose her the perfect pumpkin anyway.

We headed to Garson’s Farm in Esher, which I’ve blogged about before, as we love going to Pick Your Own anyway. Its always pretty busy at this time of year, but its great to see so many people having fun and making the most of the season. We were so lucky that it was such a beautiful sunny day too. The pumpkin patch was well stocked with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes.

We picked five fabulous pumpkins and somehow managed to carry them between the two of us – those things are not light! All 5 came in at £13, which is really great value. I think they’re a little bit cheaper than in the supermarket. You also get the added fun of picking them yourself.

Once we’d got them safely in the car, we wandered off in search of squashes. We always pick up a few squashes to use in my pumpkin recipes, as they usually have a better flavour. I used a mixture of the two in my Pumpkin Soup recipe from a few weeks ago. I also use squashed in my Pumpkin Pie recipe too.

I’ll pop a post up to show you how they came out after we carved them tomorrow. Do you enjoy Halloween? What are you’re favourite things about it? Do you go all out, or do you just choose a few elements like we do?

As I’ve not been doing ‘Week in Pictures’ posts for a while, I thought I’d start doing short posts about things we’ve been doing recently. I know a lot of my readers really enjoy those. We’ve had a few nice days out recently that I’d love to write about soon. There’s always lots going on over on my Instagram too. I’m constantly posting on there.

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With Halloween just a few days away, things are getting decidedly creepy in my house. Pumpkins have appeared and baking plans have begun. To be honest I’ll take any excuse to bake and get crafty! With the kids on half term, I don’t have time for anything very ambitious, so I’ve been thinking about quick and easy halloween recipes. First up are my creepy Halloween Meringue Kisses of Death. These are basically just meringue kisses, with black food colouring, but as port of a seasonal spread they look great.

Halloween Meringue Kisses

Equipment:

I make these in my Kitchenaid stand mixer, but you could also use an electric whisk. Other than that, you’ll just need a spatular and a piping bag with a large nozzle to make these. You’ll also need baking paper and a large baking tray to bake them in the oven.

Halloween Meringue Kisses

Ingredients:

3 eggs (whites only)

75g caster sugar

75g icing sugar

Black gel food colouring (I use this one from Hobby Craft)

Halloween Meringue Kisses

How to Make Halloween Meringue Kisses:

Preheat oven to 100ºc. prepare a large baking tray with baking paper.

Turn a piping bag inside out and add stripes of black food colouring. Turn back the right way and add a large nozzle.

Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Gradually add both the sugars, until the mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks.

Put the mixture into your piping bag and pipe out small amounts of the mixture to make the kisses.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour.

These are best kept in an airtight container, until you are ready to eat them.

Halloween Meringue Kisses

Let me know if you give these Halloween meringue kisses a try. Obviously you can make them in different colours for different occasions. I’m looking forward to trying some Christmas colours and some cute pastels in the spring.

Halloween Meringue Kisses

For more recipes check out my Baking section.

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Being a bit of a dress addict, I’m always on the look out for pretty additions to my wardrobe. Obviously I love my vintage pieces, but I also have a lot of modern clothes. I also pick up a lot of clothing at Sainsburys. Their Tu Clothing range keeps going from strength to strength. They are perfect for good quality everyday clothes and often have a classic retro feel. Last autumn and winter I found so many great things. I wrote a post last year about my denim dungaree dress and another about my corduroy dungaree dress.

Usually at this time of year I favour 60s and 70s styles. The colours and prints work really well for the season and the styles are easy to wear with boots and tights. There’s a few things I really like at the moment from Tu. I’ve chosen 3 dungaree dresses, as they worked so well for me last year. I love choosing lovely tops and blouses to mix and match with them. I’ve also included two 60s style shifts to wear with coloured tights. I also chose some vibrant 70s inspired dresses which I always wear constantly this time of year. The denim dress is just a classic and perfect for lazy casual days.

Tu Clothing Wish List

Tu Clothing Autumn Wishlist

Click on the images below, to see each item on the Tu Clothing website.

Which dress is your favourite? Do you like creating vintage and retro looks from supermarket and high street clothes, or are you only a fan of true vintage looks? Let me know in the comments.

TU currently have 25% off everything until Monday 30th, so I think I’ll be picking up a few useful bits while I can. Hopefully I can do some more outfit posts soon, to show how I style them.

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Blood Orange Mojito

With autumn upon us and halloween just a few days away, the world seems to have turned orange at the moment! So in homage to all things orange I decided to share one of my favourite cocktail recipes with you. I’m a big fan of the classic mojito it’s definitely my cocktail of choice. But I also love experimenting with it and creating twists on the original recipe. This blood orange mojito is absolutely delicious.

Blood Orange Mojito Recipe

You will need:

Juice of two blood oranges

Juice of 1 fresh lime 

6 fresh mint leaves

1tbsp sugar

1 measure of white rum

Ice cubes

Soda water

Blood Orange Mojito Recipe

How to Make:

Add the orange and lime juice to the glass. 

Next add the mint and sugar and mash lightly. 

Add rum and ice cubes. 

Garnish with a sprig of mint and a wedge of lemon.  

Blood Orange Mojito RecipeAs always, please let me know if you give this recipe a try. I love seeing your pictures and hearing what you thought of my recipes.

For more recipes, check out my Food and Baking sections or find more cocktail posts here. To see some of my cocktail reciupes that have been published elsewear take a look at my Other Writing section.

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I’ve always been a big fan of gingham. It’s so pretty and classic. I’ve featured some of my red gingham dresses on here before – My sainsburys one, my original vintage horrockses one and my Collectif one. But I’ve never owned a green gingham dress before. When Dolly and Dotty invited me to try another of their dresses, the Janie seemed like a great choice. This pretty shirt dress, has a lovely classic shape that would work well for both 40s and 50s looks.

The Perfect Green Gingham Dress?

Dolly and Dotty Janie Vintage Style Green Gingham Dress ReviewI wore mine for a windy walk around the Hampton Court gardens with Rob. It was a refreshingly warm but windy early autumn day. The dress is perfect for both summer and autumn. It looks great on it’s own, but it could also be layered up with a chunky knit on a colder day.

Material and Fit:

Dolly and Dotty Janie Vintage Style Green Gingham Dress ReviewThe dress is made from 95% and 5% elastane. this gives it that authentic soft cotton feel, with a little extra stretch to help with fit. The material on the dress is really lovely. It’s heavy enough to hang well, but is also very soft and comfortable to wear. I love the V neckline. The little gathers where the sleeve meets the shoulder give the dress a lovely 40s feel. The dress also has fabric covered buttons, which is a detail I always appreciate. The large gingham works well and stops the dress looking like school uniform.

I went for my usual size 14 and the fit is pretty good. Shirt dresses can be a bit tricky as I’m quite busty. This one didn’t gape at all and sat really well across my chest, while still fitting at the waist. I’d say this one is pretty true to size. The length is also just right. It sits at the knees on me and I’m 5’6″.

How I Wore Mine:

Dolly and Dotty Janie Vintage Style Green Gingham Dress ReviewThis dress would be really easy to dress up and accessorise, as I’ve mentioned above it would look great with a knitted cardigan. I wore mine with a luxuriate brooch from Etsy, a vintage belt from Beyond Retro and my beloved Clarks Orla Kiely Abigail shoes. I’ve worn this belt with just about everything recently. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see that I’ve put this with a lot of dresses! You just can’t go wrong with a gold belt, it finishes a simple outfit perfectly. Dolly and Dotty dresses do come with matching belts, but I usually add a true vintage one, for my own look.

The dress is currently available in the sale on the Dolly and Dotty website at just £19.99. There aren’t many sizes left in the print. The Janie dress also comes in other prints so it’s well worth a look.

What do you think? Is this the perfect green gingham dress? I absolutely love it and would like to pick up another colour.

*This dress was sent to me for the purposes of review, all opinions are my own. 

If you liked this post, check out my Outfit Section for more vintage inspired outfits.

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